With the launch of our new product Medimite oral drops, our expert pigeon pharmacist shares a few precautions and treatments for mites, lice and worms...
Mites & Lice (Skin Parasites)
Feather loss & damage can be as a result of physical damage e.g rubbing up against the drinker or the pigeon may have pecked out feathers as a result of itching.
To overcome the problem of the bald pigeon chest:
Observe the pigeon when it is feeding or drinking, if there is the slightest suspicion that the bird is rubbing its chest against a drinker the you may choose to either raise the pigeon standing position in front of the drinker or lower the drinker.
Loft hygiene is very important if you are to avoid parasitic skin/feather infestations.
Meditech have the product loft & pigeon spray with the active ingredient ‘cypermethrin’ which is fatal to mite & lice. We recommend that the whole 50ml be added to a Gal. of water. Affected pigeons sprayed & the remaining medicated water may be used to spray the loft internally.
Repeating this procedure again after 10 to 14 days will kill the eggs that hatch out after the first treatment.
Mites are free living (e.g Harvest mite & red mite) but will visit the bird to feed (i.e suck the blood)
Mites can also live on the bird, that is in the feather shaft, under the skin, in the air sacs,up the nostrils or around the legs. Red mite live on the loft surfaces & only feed at night. This can cause anaemia, irritation & debilitates the bird. The bird may also peck at the affected areas causing feather loss. This will provide a way for the pigeon to avoid getting a dose of the acaricide (anti mite medication). However it is important to remember that since the mite are feeding on the birds blood/tissues, if we give a dose of Ivermectin orally (which is carried around in the blood stream) the mite will get a fatal dose & die.
Meditech have the ‘One spot’ ivermectin drops to be applied to the back of the pigeons neck. This application should be repeated after 10 to 14 days to kill the eggs which hatch out after the first treatment.
We have also recently introduced ‘Medimite oral drops’. This is an oral solution, containing Ivermectin 400mcg per drop. We recommend one drop to be given at once & a second drop 10 to 14 days later. This ensures that one, the bird has had a dose & secondly that the correct dose has been given. One container treats 50 pigeons twice. Ivermectin will also treat any roundworms in the pigeon.
Lice are found on the pigeon moreover they live & breed on the pigeon. Lice feed on feathers, feather dust or blood. Pigeon lice will only infest other pigeons, not humans!
Large infestation with lice will result in ‘pin hole’ damage to feathers.
There are many species of lice found on the pigeon but all can be eradicated by Ivermectin oral drops. (see Medimite above).
Written by Sarwan Samrai